swan_tower: (Default)
swan_tower ([personal profile] swan_tower) wrote in [personal profile] sovay 2017-09-08 05:26 am (UTC)

I love this movie to an absurd degree, and if we could just cut the stuff with the prison warden I could love it nearly without reservations. I saw it on a night of voluntary no sleep: I was a freshman in college that year and the nearest theatre at which we could watch Star Wars: Episode I was the one up in Alewife, but the managers wouldn't let people camp out for tickets, so the night before tickets went on sale, we lurked at the edge of the parking lot until they shut down, then all rushed to the entrance and settled down to wait. A goodly chunk of my college SF association and a bunch of strangers hung out together all night, then bought our tickets as soon as the theatre opened in the morning, and then several of us went LET'S SEE A MOVIE and picked this one more or less at random. I expected absolute crap and was delighted by what I got. (See also: Pitch Black.)

It's really the characters that sell it for me, and the performances thereof. I could basically watch Brendan Frasier do humorous pulp adventure all day; ditto Oded Fehr. Rachel Weisz has all these little touches that the camera doesn't even call attention to, like after O'Connell decks Jonathan to the ground in the prison and then she steps right over her brother's prone body to go on questioning him. Kevin O'Connor in pretty much every scene he's got ("your strength gives me strength," "something about bringing his dead girlfriend back to life," his fistful of religious amulets). There's just so much energy to everything -- as you say, it looks like they were genuinely having fun.

(On the topic of Imhotep's eyes: that was supposed to be part of why he mistook Evie for Anck-su-namun in their first encounter. But the story more or less ignores the question of his bad vision after that.)

In case you were contemplating watching the sequel: I don't think it's as good, but I do enjoy it. The script manages to pull off that thing Hollywood thinks is impossible, which is the married couple who protag together without some ham-handed attempt to inject romantic tension back into their relationship (OH MY GOD THEY'RE GONNA BREAK UP etc). It also has a kid protagonist who is, by the standards of such things, relatively non-obnoxious; he's believably the child of his parents and uses his brain, at least some of the time. It inverts a few things from the first film, which is a move I like when it's done reasonably well. So on the whole, not amazing, but also not total crap.

The third movie . . . would have been better as its own thing, rather than being tacked onto this series. Not abysmal, but not as good as the second, so nowhere near as good as the first. Though I give them props for finding an in-story reason to explain recasting Evie.

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